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Home

What do you love about your home?  For me it is cosiness.  I don’t like big, open plan homes with lots of space and sparse furnishings – they seem very cold and unfriendly to me.  There are times when I wish I could be more Spartan in my decorating style and live in a less cluttered space, but that wouldn’t be me and I wouldn’t feel as comfortable.  I like colour and pattern.  I like being surrounded by things that are special to me, or have been gifted to me by someone I love.  My home isn’t very sophisticated or adult looking.  I have nice artworks, but then they are, quite often, accompanied by something silly or incongruous.  I have lots of vintage items, but then they’re sitting with something from Kmart or a discount store.  I don’t care – it’s whatever makes you happy, right?

My house is small.  But that’s ok.  My hoarding habits are probably better being contained anyway 🙂  But I do like cosy.  I like to feel cocooned.  I like to feel safe and enclosed.  I like to look around the room and see all my “precious things” – they have memories attached to them and they’re important to me, even if they’re not “on-trend” or matching or stylish.  I have started culling a little bit – as much as I like my stuff, even I have to concede that I do have a lot of junk.  But if something has a real emotional pull – I keep it.  It’s there, in my life, for a reason.

So, what makes a house a home, to me…..

  1. Colour.  I like white – I really do – but I would always pair it with lots of bright colour.  Shabby-chic white I love – because it’s distressed and homely and paired with lots of pretty colour, wood finishes and interesting textures.  But stark white, I can’t do.  Plus it shows up dirt too easily ha ha.
  2. Plants.  I am not a great gardener, as I have pointed out before.  But I do like lots of plants around the place.  Greenery is good.  As long as it stays green 🙂
  3. Soft furnishings.  I like a cushion or two.  Embroidered tablecloths.  Throw rugs and patchwork quilts.  Especially when they’re handmade ones.  Curtains I can take or leave – at the moment I am stuck with the ones that came with the house – but I HATE vertical blinds with a passion.  Unfortunately, I have those too.  They will be going as soon as I can afford to get rid of them.
  4. Candles.  I definitely have a bit of a pyromaniac streak.  But I love the soft light they give (hey, I’m in my 40s – I need all the soft lighting I can get!) and they create such a nice ambience.  I love the fragranced ones – vanilla, berry and gingerbread are my favourites.  My house always smells like cookies.
  5. Books.  I am a bit ridiculous with books.  I have LOADS.  But I just love having them around me.  A house without books is not a home. For me, anyway.
  6. Pets. This is one aspect that I am currently lacking in.  It’s so sad.  For most of my life I was surrounded by animals.  Now I don’t even have a budgie or a goldfish.  I am working on getting cats though.  One day (in my fantasy world) I will have a  property large enough for geese and dogs and rabbits and chickens, cows, and sheep again.  One day.
  7. Art.  Whether it be a family heirloom worth thousands, or a cute crayon scribble created by a special munchkin in your life, it’s important to have art around the place.  Things that inspire you or just make you smile.
  8. Music.  I always have music playing.  I have to have at least the radio on when I’m cooking or creating.  It helps to block the world out and focus you inward.  Plus, I like to sing.  I would die if anyone else heard me, but it is one of life’s joys, having a sing-a-long to a favourite tune.  As long as the neighbours don’t complain, it’s all good.
  9. Nooks.  I nearly bought a house last year purely because it had a reading nook with a balcony overlooking the garden.  Oh I loved it.  But I did not like the neighbourhood or the low popcorn ceiling (ugh!) or the ugly dark grey carpet (I was never sure if it had originally been grey or not…).  I really struggled to let go of that reading nook though – it was glorious.  I’m still dreaming about it now.  I would have spent my life in there, snoozing in the sunshine or pondering the Universe.  Sigh.  But nooks are important.  Every home should have a cosy little corner somewhere.  A place you automatically go to recharge and recoup.
  10. Photos.  I think it’s important to have photos in your home.  Family photos, travel photos, childhood photos – they’re all important.  They remind you where you’ve come from and where you’re going.

Most of all, your home should be a place of sanctuary and security.  It should be the place you feel happy to fall asleep in.  The place you can’t wait to get to at the end of the day.  Granted, I am a bit of a hermit, and I probably spend more time at home than most people.  Because I need lots of me time and space, anti-social wench that I am 🙂

My seven-year-old niece had a sleepover at my place on the weekend.  She slept with me (much more fun than sharing with Daddy – he snores!) and although I copped a few kicks to the back during the night, it was nice to share my space with that precious little person.  Having her be comfortable and feel secure with me is what home is really about.  I want my home to feel cosy and welcoming to everyone who visits me.  Especially the little ones.  That is way more important to me than having the most expensive furniture or crockery that matches my napkins.  Because home, most of all, should be about family – whatever family means to you.

Hope your home is a happy place today and always.

x

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Antler

Forgot to post this before Christmas…  Just another ornament thingy I made for my handmade stall in December.  I had made a few of the baubles and wanted some less glittery versions, that could maybe serve as all-year-round decorations.  So, I found these lovely little ceramic antlers in Target and thought they would be perfect for embellishing.

I used, as always, recycled beads from old jewellery, including some rather tarnished and battered metallic ones that I really liked the look of.  There are also polished stone, clay, and wooden ones in the mix.  Strung onto some beading wire, attached to the antler and voila!  I was pretty happy with it and kept one for myself (which is now hanging on my wall next to my faux stag head). The ornament itself only cost $2.40 and I used beads I already had in my ridiculously large stash, so it was a pretty cheap creation all round.

Hope your day is a happy one – thank you for stopping in.

x

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How to Measure Christmas

Christmas Day is just around the corner.  I can’t believe how quickly it has come up this year.  I probably say that every year, but this last twelve months has whizzed by, and so much has happened.  It’s been such a strange, disturbing year, with a lot of loss and grief for so many people.  I don’t know about you, but I am praying for a much kinder 2017.

My Mum is currently suffering with a nasty cough/virus and it makes me very anxious.  I can’t bear for her to be ill.  She is always so healthy and I sometimes forget she is a senior now, and small illnesses can be potentially dangerous.  Also, being sick at Christmas sucks!  I know she feels miserable and concerned and also annoyed that she can’t do a lot – she hates neglecting her garden and other chores.  I just worry incessantly, especially as I am not just around the corner but 30 minutes drive away, and I can’t keep a close eye on her.  Luckily, my best friend’s Mum is just around the corner – in fact, she is taking Mum to the doctor’s this morning (I would have done but had no one to cover me at work). Hopefully she will get some antibiotics (even though she hates taking them, she admits she probably needs some this time) and be on the mend soon.  We’re meant to be spending Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, but I don’t know if she will be well enough at this stage 😦

It’s funny how, in the lead up to Christmas, you think about all the things you would like, and hope that Santa obliges.  This year, I just want my Mum to be well, and for us all to have a nice, peaceful, stress-free time together, with no dramas.

This week, I managed to get all my Christmas shopping done in record time.  I have less people to buy for this year, for one reason or another, and it made it much easier.  I made a few gifts too, which meant less spending (always a good thing) and less stress (a very good thing).  I also decided not to do the fancy wrapping I always do, which usually ends up with me stressed out of my brain and wrapping gifts every night until midnight, making sure they all fit a “theme” and all look decorative and pretty.  Not this year.  I used store-bought wrapping paper and did nothing fancier than tying them with string.  I didn’t even use matching tags!  *gasps*  It just made everything so much easier and quicker and reduced my stress by about a million percent.  I am wrapped and done, ahead of time.

Whilst looking for gifts for my Mum, I pretty much followed the list she had given me (an Ian Rankin book, some gardening stuff, a Michael Buble CD, pyjamas) but I always like to get her some other little extras too, so she has some surprises.  I found this set of measuring cups in an op-shop and thought she might like them.  They look vintage (although I suspect they are not) and I liked the little Wintery scene on them, which I thought would also make them ideal for Christmas decorating, if Mum didn’t want to use them as actual measuring cups.  I just thought they were sweet.  And at $5.00 for the three, I wasn’t exactly breaking the bank.

I hope she likes them, and is well enough to enjoy all of her presents.
That’s all I want for Christmas.

Best wishes to you all.  Stay well and take care of each other x

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Beaded Bauble

Every surface in my house is currently buried under a pile of card, paper, bottles of glue, mounting tape, marker pens and ink.  So what would any sensible person do?  Tidy up?  Sort some things into neat piles?  Put everything away before starting something new?  Ha!  I scoff at your suggestions!  I am not sensible in any shape or form, so yesterday I decided to add to the mess by doing some beaded decorations inspired by some I had seen on Kelly Rae Roberts’ Instagram account.  I thought they were really lovely, and easy to do (the hardest part is choosing the beads) and wouldn’t take much time.

I bought some pretty glass baubles last week (they were on sale – bargain!) and chose some beads from my ridiculously large supply at home.  I went with blues, silvers and pearls for this one.  You simply bead a length of jewellery wire (the end looped and crimped through the loop on the bauble) and then loop and crimp the other end so it can be hung from whatever you want to hang it from!

KRR had hers hanging from a chandelier, but you could dangle one of these from a curtain rod (hanging in the window, catching the light) or from your Christmas tree, or decorating the banisters of a staircase.  I’ve seen them hooked on to drawer knobs on a dresser and hanging outside a front door from porch lights.  Lots of options.  They would make a quick and easy gift too.  I’m going to try and get some more finished before I move on to another messy project (might as well cover the entire house is chaos!).

Hope your day is shiny and bright 🙂

 

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Spring Finally Arrives…

This has been a weird Spring.  Many people have reported on the Spring Deficit experienced this year.  Everything from people feeling more moody due to the extended SAD we’ve been subjected to throughout September and October (where is the sun?!) to business experiencing a down-turn in revenue (you try selling ice creams in the middle of a freezing cold, wet and blustery day that goes on for weeks!).  Neighbourhood plants have been very confused too – never knowing from one day to the next as to what season it is.  My garden (such as it is at the new house) is a bit hit and miss, with things that should be flowering NOT flowering, and things that should have stopped flowering STARTING to flower.

But, as of this last week, Spring appears to making some effort to show up.  We’ve had some lovely sunny days and temperatures have started rising.  My garden is responding to the warmer conditions and beginning to look a bit more colourful and I, in turn, have been whinging less and dressing more like someone who lives in Australia, rather than a native of Antarctica.   My beautiful pelargonium is finally in flower – isn’t she a stunner?  I’ve had this plant for years and have had many cuttings from her, all of which have flowered prolifically.  She’s actually a little more purple than the picture shows, and I think she is a Spanish Angel, but don’t quote me on that – the label disintegrated a long time ago!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been busily re-potting a lot of my poor plants that have been very neglected during my move (and the months preceding it, if I’m honest).  Even my cacti were feeling a bit sad and unloved.  I re-potted them and in a matter of days they started to look happier and less, well, dead.  My little bunny cactus is much more sprightly looking now (if a plant can be sprightly!).  He is an off-shoot of my original cactus from a few years back, and is only a couple of inches high.  Adorable.

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My much-loved aloe is doing really well (he never lets me down even when I treat him badly and forget he exists) and is even sprouting a flower spike, which I take to mean he is happy.  I have given him a bigger pot and he is going great guns.  If he could smile, he’d be giving me a big, toothy, cheeky grin.  Possibly a wink and a “How YOU doin;?”
He’s just that sort of guy 🙂

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I even have a couple of sad little lemons starting to develop on my potted lemon tree.  It desperately needs feeding but I keep forgetting…

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My white geranium is blossoming too.  Love a nice pristine, white flower.  I also bought this one at the same time as my original bunny cactus, and it has been a regular healthy bloomer ever since.  I love geraniums – they are essential in a low maintenance garden.  So pretty and prolific and easy to take cuttings from.  They don’t die very easily, which is a bonus when you’re a black thumb kind of gardener like me.

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The aeonium cuttings I pinched from my rental unit are doing nicely too.  They are all in flower and just so pretty.  I’m glad I managed to salvage a few pieces when I moved out – they are such great plants and so easy to look after and keep alive!  Plus they grow so quickly and are very water-wise.

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Also in my garden area, but not something I have potted or grown myself…this little guy.  I believe he is an Australian Jumping Peacock Spider .  Isn’t he cute?  I didn’t get the best photo because he was so teeny-tiny and my camera is pretty rubbish.  Also, because he wouldn’t keep still and kept leaping about (as jumping spiders do).  He is about 5mm long and has a bright red and blue pattern on his butt.  The blue is hard to see in this picture, but it is very striking.  I love jumping spiders – they’re awesome.  I’ve never seen one like this before – or maybe I just haven’t paid attention (more likely).  I hope he is good at eating mosquitoes…

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So, Spring has sprung and is working its magic, not only on the garden but on me as well.  I  just function so much better in the warm weather and get a lot more done.  I think my house is going to be pretty hot in Summer, so I may be regretting those words soon.  Until then, I am happy to see the sun shining every day and feeling its heat in these old bones.

Hope your day (or at least your heart) is full of sunshine today 🙂

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Decorating FTW

I’m finally getting sorted in my new house.  I have procrastinated long enough, waiting to have all the storage display furniture I need in order to put things away and stop living out of boxes.  But, having come to my senses, I have decided that if I wait until everything is perfect and I have everything I need (or want), I will never get tidy have a home that I can actually feel happy to have visitors in.

So, with that in mind, I did a big clean up today and proceeded with some serious nesting.  My new console table in the entrance is great – it will enable me to store lots of stuff and it’s light and easy for me to move (with removable shelves).  I had wanted a sideboard/buffet for this area but had been unable to find one I liked or could afford.  In the end, I figured an “open” storage item would be better in my little house, and make things feel less closed in. I want to get baskets for the bottom shelf but am having trouble finding just the right ones, so at the moment it has IKEA boxes in it (not shown)
– they’ll do for now.

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I am going to have the big mirror mounted on the wall but, for now, it will just sit on the table.  It’s heavy enough to stay put.  I’ve tried to make all the knick-knacks and decorative pieces in the same sort of colour scheme/tone.  There’s artwork by my brother, a vintage child’s suitcase (rescued from a rubbish bin!), some op-shop finds, a stone gargoyle from a visit to the UK, tarot cards and a teeny weeny little vintage ivory elephant my Mum gave me.  I kinda hope the elephant is actually bone, not ivory…but it’s really old so I’m thinking it’s the less-than-p.c ivory.

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I think it’s all come together well.  I just hope I can get the rest of the house sorted and fit for human habitation and guests.  I actually hoovered and mopped the floors today!  Like a grown up person!  I did laundry and weeding and dusted and generally acted like an adult.  Hopefully this will not just be a passing fad for me.  I’m trying to be more domesticated.  I need to get a smaller vacuum cleaner for the stairs and second floor – lugging my big Dyson up and down the stairs is not great for my back.  I’m still suffering with a sore rib (it’s Costochondritis which is very painful, but nothing serious – just gotta give it time to settle down) and so I’ve probably done more than I should today.  I’ve lifted lots of heavy boxes and not rested at all so am expecting to be a bit delicate tomorrow.

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My craft room is still in a terrible state (hence the crafting lull I find myself in currently) but I am hoping to tackle that next.  I am dying to get stuck into something creative.  At the moment, the most creative I am being is moving boxes from one end of the room to another and figuring out ways to stack them so they don’t collapse on me.

Hope your day has been productive and happy 🙂

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Cosy Corner

Still nesting… I swear my little crow gets moved around at least 400 times before I find a spot for him.  He’s very fussy about where he goes (or, at least, I am) and doesn’t like to be somewhere that’s not in full view.  So, he’s sitting atop my brand new butler’s trolley / display cabinet thingy.  I love it – it’s so cute.  Room for books and knick-knacks and other stuff (ie junk) that needs to be quickly shoved into a drawer when people come over.

I don’t always buy brand new things – normally I am a hunt-around-until-you-find-it-second-hand kind of girl, but I wanted to have a few new things for myself this time.  Especially this piece – it’s quirky and colourful and just a bit different.  It matches with everything else and yet stands out at the same time. And Mr Crow seems to like it 🙂

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I’m still in a mess everywhere, but am resigned to being in that state for quite some time.  Setting up a home takes a while and I want to get things right, not just chuck stuff around the rooms and say “that’ll do”.   So I am doing little bits at a time – that way it is less overwhelming.  I’m still struggling with motivation about life in general right now (got a lot going on and my brain has decided to just not deal with ANYTHING) so putting stuff away and being tidy is not exactly a priority (I say that like it is EVER a priority for me).  But the more little cosy corners I have, the happier I feel.  Eventually, my whole house will be one big cosy corner – I hope so, anyway.

May your home be happy today and always x